NHL Buzz: Kovalchuk, Devils inching closer? Tim Kennedy in talks with 6 teams


Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils are inching closer to a new agreement. The two sides are believed to be in the final stages of finalizing a new multi-year deal that is expected to be announced at somepoint this week, pending league approval. Devils officials and agent Jay Grossman remain tight lipped on the specifics of the deal. Some in the know are hinting the new agreement will be a 12-13 year deal in the range of $84-$91 million but it is not clear if the Devils will be able to move forward with this type of deal.

Red Wings having productive off-season; Updates on Marleau, Horton


Red Wings having productive off-season While teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins are having difficulties re-signing their own pending free agents, the Detroit Red Wings have had a very productive off-season. The Red Wings took care of their top priority, re-signing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom to a one year deal worth $6.2 million. GM Ken Holland then locked up wingers Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom to two year deals with both players having cap hits under $2 million per season. Detroit has also boasted their winger situation going into next season with the return of 26 year old winger Jiri Hudler. Most importantly Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch gave five year extensions to Holland and assistant GM Jim Nill this week. The Red Wings have approximately $53 million committed to 16 players. The salary cap is expected to be in the $58-$59 million range. Marleau Sweepstakes Free agency is less thanRead More »

Penguins haven’t ruled out extending an offer to Ponikarovsky before July 1


The writing has been on the wall that Alexei Ponikarovsky’s time in Pittsburgh will likely end up being short stint. Like the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Penguins have no interest in meeting Ponikarovsky’s demands of a four year deal, which is what he sought from the Leafs, according to GM Brian Burke. However, as the Penguins are finishing up their organizational meetings this week, word out of Penguins headquarters is that the team has not completely closed the door on making an attempt to retain Ponikarosky. According to one team source, the Penguins intend to talk “specifics” with Ponikarovsky’s camp in early-to-mid June as contract talks with potential free agents will heat up leading into the NHL draft. The two sides had a brief discussion late last weekend and have agreed to touch base in the coming weeks. Ponikarovsky, 29, made a salary of $2.5 million last season and hisRead More »

Live Updates: Trade talks heating up prior to 3:00 p.m. deadline


3:20 p.m. Fletcher mades big move, acquires Barker Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher made a bold move today, acquiring Chicago Blackhawks Cam Barker in exchange for defenseman Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy according to TSN.CA. Johnsson is in the last year of his contract, while Nick Leddy was the Wild’s first round pick in 2009. 2:15 p.m. Cam Barker to Minnesota? Bob McKenzie of TSN.Ca reports there is a lot of chatter that Minnesota and Chicago are working on a deal before today’s deadline. 1:21 p.m. – All Quiet on Pens/Whitney front Just spoke to a Canes source who says nothing is brewing on the Penguins/Ray Whitney front. The source went on to tell me that Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is focused elsewhere due to the Penguins unwillingness to come close to meeting the Hurricanes demands. As I reported yesterday, Pittsburgh has not made an offer for Whitney. 1:15 p.m.Read More »

NHL: Canucks, Penguins to battle for Paul Kariya once again?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010 Bruins in on Whitney, Tkachuk The Boston Bruins are free falling in the standings and the Bruins are making a hard attempt to land Ray Whitney before the Olympic break. The Bruins have also be engaged in trade talks with the St. Louis Blues regarding forward Keith Tkachuk but the Blues aren’t ready to move the veteran forward. The asking price for Ray Whitney is a first round pick and a mid-tier prospect. A steep price for teams like Pittsburgh that won’t go that high. Vancouver, Calgary, Los Angeles, are among a number of teams interested. Maple Leafs mulling trade options The Globe and Mail reports, Toronto Maple Leafs have to make a decision at goaltender. The Globe and Mail lists three options that will be considered: *Hand the No. 1 job to Gustavsson next season and sign a good backup from the list of free agents.Read More »

Saturday Practice Report: Eaton questionable for Sunday’s game


SouthPointe_ The Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice tonight after a two day break. Unlike other professional sports, the NHL shuts down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some players stayed in Pittsburgh while others went back home like Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh got back to work just after 6:00 p.m., going through a hard 65 minute skate. All players were accounted for, including defenseman Mark Eaton (right knee). Eaton participated fully after missing the past two games with a right knee injury. Eaton suffered a right knee injury against Buffalo (12/19/09) and the Penguins decided to shut him down until after Christmas. He will be evaluated by team doctors prior to Sunday’s morning skate. He is regarded as questionable for tomorrow’s game. In other injury news, winger Chris Kunitz was bothered by a nagging knee injury Wednesday night, which limited his ice time against Ottawa in the third period.

Tuesday’s Ice Report: Latest trade winds


*Word out of Boston is that the Bruins have stepped up their efforts to lock up center Marc Savard but a sticking point in the deal remains the term of a contract. Boston has offered a three year extension while Savard is seeking at least a four year deal and believes he has a lot of hockey left in him. *The Washington Post reports that center Michael Nylander has an offer from a KHL team, believed to be from the KHL’s Dynamo Minsk. Getting rid of Nylanders contract will give the Capitals some much needed cap space moving forward. LA and Chicago are not interested and Nylander will be heading to Russia. *On the waiver wire, the Florida Panthers have claimed defenseman Steve MacIntyre and Sabres forward Adam Mair cleared waivers today. *The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers remain very aggressive in their attempts to lure Petr Forsberg backRead More »

Post-Game Notebook: McKee proving his worth


Giguere not in the Leafs plans for now The buzz in Toronto today is the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending situation. Vesa Toskala has not shown the ability to be a No.1 netminder and that was clear tonight. The Leafs have high hopes for young goaltender Jonas Gustavsson who is currently sidelined for 1-3 weeks with a groin injury. Leafs GM Brian Burke has claimed on many occasions that the Leafs are not in rebuilding mode which has sparked speculation that Burke is looking for a veteran goaltender. Gustavsson is not a sure thing and will go through some learning pains but one goaltender currently not on the Leafs radar is Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. McKee proving his worth

Penguins put on impressive performance; beat Leafs 5-2


Post-Toronto Observations Toronto — Coming off a divisional win in Philadelphia Thursday night, Pittsburgh put on a dominating performance tonight beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at the Air Canada Center. Pittsburgh’s “Big Three” came up big with Sidney Crosby netting two goals, Evgeni Malkin adding three assists and goaltender Marc Andre Fleury did what he needed to do making 18 saves to improve to 4-0 on the season. The win was the Penguins fourth on the season while the Leafs continue to look for their first win of the year. Pittsburgh had their way with the Leafs and were clearly the superior team. Toronto GM Brian Burke made a number of personnel moves this summer to improve the organization. The moves have the potential to pay dividends in the future but the theme of the Leafs continue; lack of discipline, inability to score goals and poor goaltending. Through theRead More »

NHL Free Agency: Latest Rumblings


Follow TIOPS on Twitter *The New Jersey Devils have signed Johnny Oduya to a three year deal worth $3.5 million per season. *The Toronto Maple Leafs have heavy interest in Ian Laperrière, Travis Moen and Chris Neil. Leafs GM Brian Burke will look to sign two of the three. At the top of Burke’s wishlist is Travis Moen. It is going to be difficult to lure Moen from the West Coast as he likes living there. The Sharks, Kings, Ducks and Wild also have interest. Neil will draw strong interest from the Panthers, Red Wings who nearly acquired him at the deadline and the Canadiens have Laperriere on their radar. * The Hawks, Rangers, and Oilers are expressing the most interest in Dany Heatley. *Talks with Alexei Kovalev will go down to the wire but expect the two sides to continue negotiations through July 1. A two year offer isRead More »